Thursday, October 16, 2008

Home (Far) Away From Home

"At the little town of Vevey, in Switzerland, there is a particularly comfortable hotel. There are, indeed, many hotels, for the entertainment of tourists is the business of the place, which, as many travelers will remember, is seated upon the edge of a remarkably blue lake--a lake that it behooves every tourist to visit. The shore of the lake presents an unbroken array of establishments of this order, of every category, from the "grand hotel" of the newest fashion, with a chalk-white front, a hundred balconies, and a dozen flags flying from its roof, to the little Swiss pension of an elder day, with its name inscribed in German-looking lettering upon a pink or yellow wall and an awkward summerhouse in the angle of the garden. One of the hotels at Vevey, however, is famous, even classical, being distinguished from many of its upstart neighbors by an air both of luxury and of maturity." Daisy Miller by Henry James

These lines begin the story of Daisy Miller by Henry James. I think it's quite appropriate that a great story start with a great description of a hotel, just as a great vacation should.

In this case it's the San Cristobal Tower (operated by Sheraton's Luxury Collection Brand). We selected this hotel for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was it's commanding view of the city, a distinct benefit of it's location at the foot of Cero San Cristobal across the Mapuche River from the majority of the city and the Providencia neighborhood. Here are a few photos of this excellent hotel with perhaps the most attentive staff I have ever had the privelege of meeting.

View of the hotel from the edge of the Mapuche river, the trees in the background are on San Cristobal Hill.
Here is a photo of the hotel lobby. The desk to the left of the image is one of three desks where check-in and check-out take place with a glass of Spumoso (Local Sparkling Wine).

A picture of our room, very traditional in a very sort of Ritz Carlton style, though a bit more spacious than the typical Ritz and with nice touches like operable windows and 110 outlets in the room and bathroom.

A picture of the bed after turn-down service. Loved the little chocolates, bottled water with crystal tumblers, and the slippers laid out on a little mat. I can be a bit germ phobic so the remote on the sheet didn't thrill me, but I can forgive this one questionable judgement call.
A spread of wine, pisco sours, cheeses, meats, nuts, fruit, and pasteries on the 21st floor where we frequently watched as the sun set casting beautiful shades of pink and orange on the snow capped Andes.

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